Wisconsin Wild Life Law

Governed Primarily by the Following Authorities

  • The Lacey Act 16 U.S.C § § 3371-3378
  • Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 29
  • Wisconsin Administrative Code (NR 10 & 20)

Categories of Law

  • Hunting & Trapping
  • Fishing
  • Commercial Activity

Penalties in Wisconsin

  • § 29.971 outlines many of the penalties for violations
  • They range in severity from simple forfeitures of less than $100.00 with no license suspension
  • $20,000.00 fines, lifetime revocation and prison

These Laws are not Intuitive

Regulations affecting many of the most common violations such as bag and size limits change constantly. Whether you intended to violate the law or did so accidentally does not matter. This is known as “strict liability.”

For example, a bow hunter was convicted of several violations for hunting after hours. The bow hunter never shot an arrow after hours, but instead remained in his deer stand while holding his uncased bow. The court of appeals determined that this constituted hunting according to the law.

The Law is Often Confusing

When fishing, the possession limit is the maximum number of a species that you control at any time, it is twice the daily bag limit. The daily bag limit is the maximum number you can keep in one day. Fish not immediately released are part of the bag limit.

If the daily bag limit for a species is 5, the most you could control would be 10 (including in your home freezer), no matter how many days you fished. Once you reach your limit for a species, you must stop fishing for that species. This includes catch and release

Wildlife Law Challenges Tradiional Concepts of Fairness

DNR agents and wardens can engage in illegal activity to catch violators in the act. If you are aware or should have been aware of a wildlife violation, you can be charged with that same crim under § 29.981 - parties to a violation.

Be sure to read fishing and hunting guildes and regulations published by the DNR and become updated every year. It is recommended to make use of DNR seminars and hotlines to answer questions you may have.

Know Your Rights Under the Law

You are not required to answer any questions. You should ask the warden if you are being investigated and ask to speak with a Wildlife Lawyer before answering any questions

Click Here to download statistics on Wild Animals and Plants in Wisconsin

Educating Yourself with Reputable and Poplular Publications and Associations

  • Wisconsin Sportsman (print)
  • On WIsconsin Outdoors
  • Wisconsin Outdoors News
  • Wisconsin Outdoors
  • Wisconsin Trappers Association
  • Wisconsin Deer Hunters Association
  • Wisconsin Bow Hunters Association
  • Wisconsin Bow Hunters Association
  • Wisconsin Outfitters Association
  • Wisconsin Chapter of the Safari Club International
  • Wisconsin Wildlife Foundation
  • Wisconsin Bowfishing Association
  • Wisconsin Waterfowl Association

Know your hunting and fishing rights! Contact Feldmann Nagel Cantafio & Song PLLC today !

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